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§ 97. “Absence of the President.”

This section makes provision for the appointment of a senator to act during the absence of the President. The Constitution is silent on the subject of permanent executive officers of the Upper House. The Senate of the Commonwealth, unlike the Senate of the United States, has been assigned no voice in the appointment of the officials necessary to carry on the business of the House. Until federal legislation deals with the matter, such appointments can be made only by the Executive Government of the Commonwealth. The chief officers of the Upper House, generally, are the Clerk of the Parliaments, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, and the Assistant Clerk. The Clerk of the Parliaments has to make true entries and records of the things done and passed in the Parliaments. The Clerk Assistant has to attend to the table, with the


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Clerk, and to take minutes of the proceedings and orders of the House. The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod has to assist in the introduction of members, and other ceremonies; he is sent to desire the attendance of the members of the Lower House at the opening and proroguing of Parliament. He also executes orders for the commitment of parties guilty of breaches of privilege and contempt. (May, 10th ed. p. 194.)

Resignation of senator.

19. A senator may, by writing addressed to the President, or to the Governor-General if there is no President or if the President is absent from the Commonwealth, resign98 his place, which thereupon shall become vacant99.

CANADA.—A senator may, by writing under his hand addressed to the Governor-General, resign his place in the Senate, and thereupon the same shall be vacant.—B.N.A. Act, 1867, sec. 30.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—A similar clause is in the Constitutions of all the Australian colonies. In the Commonwealth Bill of 1891 the clause was substantially in the same words; at the Adelaide session of the Convention in 1897 it was introduced and passed as it now stands.

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